Sunday, May 17, 2015

Have car, cannot park!

Maruti Alto for sale, only six months old, with all the accessories, in good condition [REASON FOR SALE: PARKING PROBLEM] - read one advert this newspaper carried some years ago. The lack of parking space had driven this car owner to give up his rather new acquisition. Although it is not clear whether the problem was lack of parking space at home or the general lack of parking space anywhere in the capital; both being equally irksome.
For me, lack of parking space, has been more life-changing than irksome. I have discovered shades in me that I never knew existed. From the vicious this-is-mine or get-off-my-space looks and emotions, to childlike glee at spotting a space no one has yet occupied, to plunging to utter depths of despondency when not an inch is available or just an inch is not available, to Bollywood style ‘mein bekasoor hoon milord’ wails on finding a clamp on my car. I have learnt to sweet-talk traffic personnel, shopkeepers, parking boys, hell, anybody with anything to do with parking.
Thanks to parking problem, my strategizing skills have also improved. Just the thought of visiting MG Marg makes the left side of my brain go into overdrive, thinking of all the potential parking spots, the chances of availability or non-availability, alternatives and finally, my exit plan. Other changes that the lack of parking space has brought about are the diminishing visits to MG Marg, friends, relatives. Who I meet depends on where I can park, if I can park.
On a more serious note, parking is a problem city planners need to take up in earnest along with alternatives like better public transport. There are extremely few car parking options around the main town and even these have very little space to offer. Both the Childrens’ Park facility and the Lall Bazaar parking lot are mostly occupied by vehicles covered with dust, proof that they haven't been driven in a long, long time [perhaps out of fear of losing the parking spot ;-)]. Such long term parking in a public facility should not be allowed. The Private Parking facility near Children Park, now closed for some construction work, provided the only breather for car drivers. It also worked well, because, it was a private parking facility. The charges were high and the parking attendants efficient. Surely, there is something to learn from that.

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